Law-Enforcement Disruption of a Drug Importation Network

Global Crime, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2006

See all articles by Carlo Morselli

Carlo Morselli

University of Montreal - School of Criminology

Katia Petit

University of Montreal - School of Criminology

Abstract

This study focuses on the structure and evolution of a drug importation network that operated from Montreal, Canada, and that was the target of an extensive two-year criminal investigation. The investigation was atypical in that it followed a seize-but-do-not-arrest strategy - while eleven drug shipments were seized by police throughout this period, arrests were never made until the final phase of the investigation. Such a case offers a rare opportunity to study the dynamics of a criminal network under intense surveillance and disruption. The reconstruction of the importation network is based on electronic communication transcripts that were intercepted and compiled during the investigation. Findings from analyses of the principal changes that took place within the communication network reveal how network centralization and critical node status are variable, and not static, properties of a criminal network under considerable constraint. The study demonstrates how a criminal network decentralizes and is re-ordered in response to intense law-enforcement targeting. Contributions are made to research on disruption in criminal networks. We conclude with a discussion on how a criminal network's flexibility, a feature generally presented as a sign of resilience, may contribute to a more significant demise within a context of intensive control.

Keywords: criminal network, law enforcement, organized crime, drug trafficking, social network analysis

Suggested Citation

Morselli, Carlo and Petit, Katia, Law-Enforcement Disruption of a Drug Importation Network. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=944829

Carlo Morselli (Contact Author)

University of Montreal - School of Criminology ( email )

CP 6128 Succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, QC H2P 2H4
Canada

Katia Petit

University of Montreal - School of Criminology ( email )

CP 6128 Succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, QC H2P 2H4
Canada

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